The Portland outpost of chain Panera Bread's "pay-what-you-like" concept, which was announced back in October, seems to moving right on schedule: A tipster reports that the NE Halsey Panera restaurant (next to the Hollywood Trader Joe's) will be closing next week for staff-training purposes, then will open its doors the following week as Panera's third non-profit community "Cares Cafe." (A Panera spokesperson confirms the pending opening, but places the date as the more-vague "this month.")
To those uninitiated, Panera's first non-profit concept made a splash late last spring in St. Louis, Missouri, with no pricing on the menu and a sign urging customers to "Take what you need, leave your fair share." A second Cares Cafe opened in Michigan in November, and according to corporate reports, 60 to 70 percent of customers pay in full, while 15 percent donate more and 15 percent pay less, or nothing at all. Don't be one of the cheap ones, k?
· Panera Bread [Official site]
Image of Panera courtesy Mark S. via Yelp